Inside NYAC: December 2022

November 2022

Welcome to Inside NYAC. This recap is full of news to engage with and share insights, and information from around the New York Annual Conference and beyond. Have news to share with your colleagues or have a subject you'd like to see explored here? Drop us a line at

Making a Shift from Reset to Pivot: Are You Ready?

If you attended the recent Clergy Day Apart or listened to our Bishop as he's led discussions about NYAC's future, odds are you've heard mention of making a shift from reset to "pivot." ?But what does this mean? 
Bickerton explained the difference during 
his first address as Council of Bishops president.  Simply put, it means that instead of looking back at a return to what once was before and returning to a method we once employed (RESET) now is the time to begin a dramatic shift in policy, position or strategy (PIVOT). This pivot, also means considering hard questions and initiating conversation about the future of our church: 

  • What it is we want and dream about as a church moving forward?
  • What do we see as the next expression of Methodism?
  • What kind of church do we envision in the ongoing United Methodist Church?

The questions, which Bishop Bickerton put to the COB, is also deeply relevant and necessary in our local church settings. Are you ready? 

A new cycle of online ministry certification courses is set to begin Jan. 16, 2023, at is part of the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College and has offered quality online educational experiences with roots in Wesleyan theology since 2006. 

Cohorts are being formed in nine areas, with openings still available in most. Two new certifications—in church administration and in grief care—have already reached maximum enrollment, but new dates for cohorts are expected to be announced. Enrollment is still open in popular areas including children’s ministry, women’s ministry, Christian education, evangelism, ministry with people with disabilities, spiritual formation, and youth ministry. 

Requirements include successful completion of four online courses, and each course is six weeks long. The spiritual formation and youth ministry programs each include a 12-week practicum. The four classes in this certification cycle are set to be held Jan. 12 to Feb. 24, March 13 to April 28 (no class during Holy Week), Aug. 21 to Sept. 29, and Oct. 9 to Nov. 17.  

Unlike individual interest courses, persons working toward certifications move through the sequence with a consistent cohort of learners. This allows for sharing of participant knowledge and experience. 

“Many of our certification learners are already serving in active ministry, and they tend to find that the camaraderie of sharing a common goal is one of the most rewarding aspects of the courses,” says Lori Richey, BeADisciple program director for certifications.  

Richey points to such programs as women’s ministry and children’s ministry as especially appropriate for this kind of support.  

“We know that leaders in these areas often are persons who have a heart for this ministry but may not have previous training,” she says. “Our instructors are experienced at bringing together the best ideas both from experts in the field and from co-learners in the classes. We find that persons who earn these certificates finish full of enthusiasm about the experience they have had, and tend to become more confident, more enthusiastic leaders.” 

Full information is available online at